Athens: Nordic American Offshore (NAO) has responded to the news its competitor won a charter to undertake rescue missions in the Mediterranean Sea, saying its vessels could have commenced the contract sooner.
The statement follows today’s news that Siem Meling Offshore, Siem Offshore’s joint venture with OH Meling & Co, has chartered out its PSV Siem Pilot (5,000 dwt, built 2010) to the Norwegian Ministry of Justice and Public Security for rescue missions in the Mediterranean amid the ongoing migrant crisis.
“Yesterday, on a Norwegian public holiday, the Norwegian prime minister announced that the government has chartered one PSV from another source, which can be ready in the Mediterranean about June 15. This vessel is five to six years older than NAO’s vessels,” Herbjorn Hansson, executive chairman of the NASDAQ-listed company, said in a statement today.
Hansson said that NAO could have made its vessels available for hire within 10 days: “On April 20, 2015, the Norwegian government announced a plan to charter a patrol and rescue vessel that would not be ready for rescue operations in the Mediterranean until about August 1.
“Believing that August was far too late to help the refugees in their dramatic plight, NAO immediately announced that we could have one or more suitable vessels in place in the Mediterranean as early as 10 days after the award of a possible contract.
“We are pleased that NAO’s offer of speedy availability for service helped promote the importance of this project, an offer that we made via several media appearances, including on Norwegian television,” Hansson continued.
“We believe our willingness to be ready much sooner than the Government had planned, influenced the advancement of the Government’s timetable from the original August 1 date, and we must congratulate the Government on its proper humanitarian response. We stand ready to help in any way we can in case more PSVs are required.
“NAO’s ten PSVs, built in top Norwegian shipyards, are specially designed to perform rescue operations for crews in the harsh North Sea waters, and are suitable for rescue operations in other areas, including the Mediterranean.”
On September 27, 2014, a suezmax tanker owned by Nordic American Tankers (NAT) saved 150 refugees on the Mediterranean Sea. “NAT’s role in this rescue received wide publicity at the time,” noted Hansson, who is NAT’s chairman and CEO.